GOW2013 story from Macedonia:If There is a Will There is a Way

Tomislav Dimiskovski is 76 year old. He has been teaching almost his entire life: A primary school teacher during his active working life, he continued his mission during retirement in a slightly different manner. Driven by his vigorous spirit and the belief that only an active person can be healthy and vital, Tomislav formed the Third Age University association, which nurtures lifelong learning and active participation of elderly.

Tomislav became an active computer and Internet user a few years ago. With his closest family abroad, he enjoys all communication opportunities that the new technologies offer.

He shared his excitement with his colleagues from the Third Age University, trying to get them interested in computers and internet as well. This proved not an easy job.

Seeking allies, Tomislav came in touch with Open the Windows and sought to find a way to bring IT closer to his friends. It was no wonder that the big-button keyboard attracted the greatest interest during a lecture on assistive technology delivered by Open the Windows in 2012.

Early this year, the students received a lecture on social media, which included a video link to one of their former member currently in Canada. Open the Windows helped the University establish its own Facebook profile for information exchange among members, but also as a manner of informing others of their activities.

In the eve of this year’s Get Online Week, Tomislav and his association were keen to contribute. The two organizations joined forces again and organized a debate IT and the Third Age: Opportunity or Difficulty. Participants talked about their experiences, asked questions, shared the fear of the unknown, and sought support.

A week after the event, Tomislav came at Open the Windows to inform of the positive reactions of the attendees. Tireless as ever, he presented a list of ‘students’ who volunteered for computer classes and presented a few ideas of how the two organizations could work together in the future. Establishing e-mail and Facebook communication among University members seemed like a good first step.

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